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Pioneer Cabo Golf Course Palmilla Celebrates its 25th Anniversary

Jack Nicklaus Designed Course Launched Los Cabos as an International Golf Destination

Opened in 1992 and the first Jack Nicklaus Signature design built in Latin America, Palmilla Golf Club, the “Grande Dame of Los Cabos Golf,” is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year.

A vanguard facility that set the stage for upscale golf development in Los Cabos, Palmilla’s core 18, the original Mountain and Arroyo nines, was the first course in the hemisphere to take full advantage of the region’s unique mountain, desert and ocean ecosystem. This trio of elements, along with Cabo’s consistently sunny weather, sparked the imagination of developers and gave rise to future projects in Los Cabos. The golf club, which has a membership and accepts daily-fee play, is a prime amenity for guests of One&Only Palmilla, a legendary resort built in 1956 by the son of a former president of Mexico.

Pioneer Cabo Golf Course Palmilla Celebrates its 25th Anniversary

Palmilla Golf Club celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2017.

Chiseled into a box-shaped canyon framed by tall stony peaks on the outskirts of San Jose del Cabo, a colonial city circa 1730, Palmilla presents a target-style test stretched across a desert plateau. Holes skirt canyon-like gulches, cactus-studded hills and boulder-strewn arroyos. An upland spread with sweeping ocean views, the layout is framed by multi-armed cardon cacti—a cousin of the saguaro, only taller—as well as desert trees and smaller cacti. Several holes call for heroic carries over no man’s land from the back tees, but broad terraced fairways, generous bail-out areas and open-entry greens accommodate players of lesser attainment. Five sets of tees provide admirable versatility and strategic nuance. The club’s Ocean nine, added by Nicklaus in 1999, features a 600-foot elevation change from the first tee to the sixth green, transporting players from the mountains to the sea.

Badly damaged by Hurricane Odile in September 2014, Palmilla reopened the following April following an extensive $3.5 million clean-up and refurbishment. The club used the post-storm closure to refresh the entire facility. The computerized irrigation system, golf cart fleet and course maintenance equipment and outbuildings were upgraded or replaced. Bunkers were refilled with sand, irrigation lakes were restored and all playing surfaces, including tees, greens and fairways, were reconditioned by Troon Golf, which manages the golf course.

Pioneer Cabo Golf Course Palmilla Celebrates its 25th Anniversary

Palmilla’s 9-hole Mountain and Arroyo Courses were the first Jack Nicklaus designs in Latin America, and set the standard for Los Cabos golf when they opened in 1992.

According to Jason Ballog, Palmilla’s director of golf, the storm thinned out the thick desert forest that encloses the layout, greatly expanding view corridors to the sparkling Sea of Cortes. “Judging from the pictures I’ve seen, the course looks like it did when it opened,” Ballog said.

In addition to the remedial work performed on the golf course, Palmilla’s hacienda-style clubhouse was completely redesigned, with a new check-in area and additional retail space in the wood-paneled golf shop.

The golf club’s cantina is headed by One&Only Palmilla executive chef Larbi Dahrouch. The expanded outdoor seating area, surfaced in native stone, is shaded by Cabo’s classic palo de arco, a woven stick roof that filters sunlight. The new mesquite grill and fryer is used to turn out burgers, quesadillas and fish tacos, but Dahrouch, a Frenchman, has significantly revised and upgraded the menu.  The top-shelf Margaritas are among the best in town. 

Like the golf course, the iconic One&Only Palmilla took a hit from Hurricane Odile and reopened in April 2015 after a major refurbishment. Originally known as the Hotel Palmilla, the resort was patronized in the 1950s by famous deep-sea fishermen, including John Wayne, Bing Crosby, Ernest Hemingway and Dwight D. Eisenhower. The hotel was later transformed by South African entrepreneur Sol Kerzner into a world-class resort. Then as now, this elite retreat, a favorite of Hollywood A-listers, is set on a rocky promontory that juts into the azure-blue sea. The resort’s sandy beach is one of the few in Los Cabos where the water is calm enough for swimming.  

Nicklaus, known as the ‘Golden Amigo’ for his role in spearheading the growth of golf in Los Cabos with his prolific output, returned to build five additional layouts at the tip of the Baja Peninsula after the 1992 debut of Palmilla. Yet this idyllic 27-hole facility celebrates its silver anniversary as the queen of Cabo’s golf courses. is a comprehensive online source of first-hand travel information for the Baja California Peninsula, supported by a full-service tour operator staffed by Baja locals (our “Baja Travel Savants”). We offer Baja travelers expert advice about local restaurants,  hotels  and vacation rentals, as well as guides, maps and articles about events, sports and activities. We provide bilingual customer support, information and sales seven days a week, 365 days a year.  For more information, call toll-free (US/CAN) at 855-BAJA-411 or email us at

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Exotic Estates Launches “Exotic Cabo Villa Escape Sweeps”

Exotic Estates International, Alaska Airlines, and Cabo Adventures join forces to offer the chance to win a $10,000 Luxury Villa Vacation in Los Cabos!

Exotic Estates celebrates the addition of over 90 incredible vacation villas in Los Cabos, Mexico, with the Exotic Cabo Villa Escape Sweeps! This sweepstakes prize includes a stay at Casa Cortez Beach Villa, a luxury villa overlooking the beach in San Jose del Cabo, and much more.

The lucky winner will receive four (4) round-trip coach-class tickets on Alaska Airlines from any city in Alaska’s US Mainland network to San Jose del Cabo (SJD) in Mexico.

Once in Los Cabos, guests will enjoy a luxury sailing excursion with Cabo Adventures, where they will explore the beautiful, rugged coastline and pristine waters of the Sea of Cortez.

All legal US residents over 21 can enter for a chance to win this incredible trip by November 14th 2016.


For complete details, Official Rules and to enter, visit the Exotic Estates’ website: Exotic Estates Cabo Villa Escape Sweeps.

“What better way to celebrate and promote our expansion down to Cabo than by giving away an amazing Cabo villa vacation,” John Di Rienzo, the Marketing Director for Exotic Estates. “Casa Cortez Beach Villa is a beautiful home that delivers the mix of luxurious amenities, privacy and perfect setting that our discerning guests expect in a vacation villa. We are also thrilled to be working with Alaska Airlines again; their expansive network offers our guests excellent access to villas in Mexico and Hawaii. We are also pleased to introduce Cabo Adventures as an established local operator of quality tours and excursions.”

Exotic Estates’ Casa Cortez Beach Villa is a Mediterranean-style five-bedroom and five-bath Cabo villa that overlooks the Sea of Cortez, in the exclusive, gated community of Palmilla Sur and Cerro Colorado in San Jose del Cabo. The villa boasts spectacular views of the Sea of Cortez and the rugged coastline of Los Cabos, Mexico!

Among the charms of this luxuriously private villa are five glorious master suites and a large terrace with an infinity pool, hot tub and stunning views of the beach below.

About Exotic Estates
Founded in Hawaii in 2006, Exotic Estates International is a boutique luxury vacation villa rental agency representing a curated collection of villas in Mexico, Hawaii, Utah, the Caribbean and other in-demand vacation destinations. The Exotic Estates team works one-on-one with travelers to choreograph exceptional vacation experiences with a personal touch. The company is member of ASTA, IATA and the VRMA, and is a proud partner of the Travel Agent community, working with Agents to match clients with the ideal vacation villa.

Alaska Airlines offers convenient non-stops from the West Coast to seven beach destinations in Mexico, including Los Cabos. Your journey becomes part of the adventure as you watch free entertainment, snack on Pacific Northwest inspired food and beverages, relax in custom power-equipped seats, and enjoy award-winning service. Alaska Airlines ranked “Highest in Customer Satisfaction Among Traditional Carriers in North America” in the J.D. Power North American Airline Satisfaction Study for nine consecutive years from 2008 to 2016.

Cabo Adventures is continually rated as Cabo’s #1 tour and activity company. The company has been delivering the widest selection of safe, fun and informative activities to people who want to discover all that the area has to offer for over nine years. is a comprehensive online source of first-hand travel information for the Baja California Peninsula. We offer Baja travelers expert advice about local restaurantshotelsvacation rentals and activities, as well as guides, maps, complete event calendars and great stories about incredible travel destinations, from Tijuana to Cabo San Lucas.  We also provide free personal travel consulting, planning and booking services in Los Cabos, Todos Santos and La Paz, with prices that match or are below best advertised price. For more information, please call toll-free (US/CAN) 855-BAJA-411 or email us at

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Southwest Airlines To Fly Nonstop Between Oakland And Mexico

Daily Service to Los Cabos and Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, from Oakland Intl. Airport to begin Feb. 12, 2017

Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE: LUV) today filed an application with the U. S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to offer the first U.S. carrier nonstop service between Oakland International Airport and both San Jose del Cabo/Los Cabos and Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, beginning in February 2017, subject to governmental approvals. Once approved, the carrier’s flight schedule and fares will be published on

“Linking the San Francisco Bay Area to these popular Mexican beach resort areas with time-saving itineraries brings our Customers low-fare and high-value service that is an exciting addition to our growing international portfolio,” said Leah Koontz, Southwest Vice President  who announced the proposed flights to gathered guests and media near the carrier’s Oakland Ticket Counter. “We’re adding nonstop service that extends the reach of Oakland’s convenient airport experience to two top-ranking international destinations without a nonstop option.”

“Los Cabos, in particular, is the most requested international destination from the East Bay and North Bay that does not have a nonstop option,” said Bryant L. Francis, C.M., Director of Aviation for The Port of Oakland. “Southwest’s continual investment, especially with new medium-haul and long-haul flights has made Oakland International the fastest growing major airport inCalifornia in terms of passengers, and they’re enjoying unprecedented value and reliability.”

Southwest Airlines To Fly Nonstop Between Oakland And Mexico

The Port is undertaking a major renovation of Terminal One: a new security checkpoint and international check-in and arrivals area is scheduled to be completed in the second quarter of 2017; a modernization and expansion of the airport’s passenger federal inspection station (FIS) for U.S. Customs & Border Protection services is scheduled to be completed in the third quarter of 2017.


According to the most recent figures available from the U.S. Department of Transportation, Southwest carries the most  passengers to and from the San Francisco Bay Area through its operations at the region’s three major commercial airports. Southwest’s 120 departures a day at Oakland International Airport comprise the carrier’s biggest operation in Northern California, transporting the majority of the airport’s 11 million annual travelers to nearly 30 destinations across the United States, with additional connecting or same-plane service to another two dozen cities.

Southwest has more than 2,600 Oakland-based Employees and has hired more than 750 locally based Employees since January 2014.

Oakland International is the fourth busiest airport in California and the second busiest in the San Francisco Bay Area, the closest airport for most local residents and to the region’s top tourism and entertainment venues. Oakland International is operated by The Port of Oakland, which also oversees the Oakland seaport and 20 miles of waterfront. For airport maps, and details on shopping, dining, transportation, and more, visit


In its 46th year of service, Dallas-based Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV) continues to differentiate itself from other air carriers with exemplary Customer Service delivered by more than 50,000 Employees to more than 100 million Customers annually.  Southwest operates more than 3,900 departures a day during peak travel season across a network of 98 destinations in the United States and seven additional countries with service to three airports in Cuba expected to begin later this year, subject to government approvals.

Based on the U.S. Department of Transportation’s most recent data, Southwest Airlines is the nation’s largest carrier in terms of originating domestic passengers boarded. The Company operates the largest fleet of Boeing aircraft in the world, the majority of which are equipped with satellite-based WiFi providing gate-to-gate connectivity.  That connectivity enables Customers to use their personal devices to view video on-demand movies and television shows, as well as more than 20 channels of free, live TV compliments of our valued Partners. Southwest created Transfarency℠, a philosophy which treats Customers honestly and fairly, and in which low fares actually stay low. Southwest is the only major U.S. airline to offer bags fly free®  to everyone (first and second checked pieces of luggage, size and weight limits apply, some airlines may allow free checked bags on select routes or for qualified circumstances), and there are no change fees, though fare differences might apply. The airline proudly unveiled a bold new look:  Heart.  A new logo, aircraft livery, interior design featuring a new seat and Flight Attendant galley, Employee-designed uniforms, and an updated airport experience all showcase the dedication of Southwest Employees who connect Customers with what’s important in their lives.

From its first flights on June 18, 1971, Southwest Airlines launched an era of unprecedented affordability in air travel described by the U.S. Department of Transportation as “The Southwest Effect,” a lowering of fares and increase in passenger traffic whenever the carrier enters new markets.  With 43 consecutive years of profitability, Southwest is one of the most honored airlines in the world, known for a triple bottom line approach that contributes to the carrier’s performance and productivity, the importance of its People and the communities they serve, and an overall commitment to efficiency and the planet. The 2015 Southwest Airlines One Report™ can be found at

Book Southwest Airlines’ low fares online at or by phone at 800-I-FLY-SWA. is a comprehensive online source of first-hand travel information for the Baja California Peninsula. We offer Baja travelers expert advice about local restaurantshotelsvacation rentals and activities, as well as guides, maps, complete event calendars and great stories about incredible travel destinations, from Tijuana to Cabo San Lucas.  We also provide free personal travel consulting, planning and booking services in Los Cabos, Todos Santos and La Paz, with prices that match or are below best advertised price. For more information, please call toll-free (US/CAN) 855-BAJA-411 or email us at



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Hospitality Group Invests $150 Million in San Jose del Cabo

Grupo Vidanta Partners With Hakkasan Group To Bring Nightlife, Daylife And Dining Experiences To Mexico

A long-term commitment, the partnership will first see three brand new concepts open in the second half of 2017, including two restaurants and a beach club at Vidanta Los Cabos in San Jose del Cabo. The beach club will offer an extravagant daylife experience and will evolve into a club-restaurant-cabaret by night.

Over the course of the subsequent five years, Hakkasan Group will introduce a new venue at a different Vidanta property each year, as well as a brand new hotel with Grupo Vidanta.

Grupo Vidanta is constantly expanding to introduce innovative entertainment experiences and destination attractions to key regions across Mexico. This includes forging partnerships with some of the world’s most renowned brands, one example being Vidanta’s collaboration with Cirque du Soleil to create JOYÀ.

“Our latest collaboration with the world-renowned Hakkasan Group further exemplifies our long-term vision and ongoing commitment to progressing the growth of tourism in Mexico and evolving the Vidanta brand,” said Iván Chávez, Executive Vice President of Grupo Vidanta.

Hospitality Group Invests $150 Million in San Jose del Cabo.

Rendering of Hakkasan Beach Club at Vidanta Los Cabos.

Founded in the UK, Hakkasan Group is headquartered in Las Vegas with over 50 establishments across the US, Europe, Middle East, and Asia. Its stable of brands includes restaurants Hakkasan, Yauatcha, HKK, Sake no Hana, Herringbone, Searsucker and nightclub / day club brand Omnia; which is part of the Group’s diversification into a full-suite hospitality company offering both day and nightlife premium services to guests.

Commenting at the signing, Grupo Vidanta founder Daniel Chávez Morán said: “We are thrilled to partner with one of the most renowned global hospitality companies and create new opportunities and original experiences in Mexico. Through our partnership with Hakkasan Group we will bring world-class dining and entertainment offerings like no other in Mexico to destinations across the country.”

Hakkasan Group President Nick McCabe said: “As Hakkasan Group’s first venture into Mexico, we are delighted to partner with Grupo Vidanta – a company which shares our vision of unparalleled service, quality and experience. This partnership is the next step in Hakkasan Group’s ambitious global growth strategy and will position our business for further expansion across the region, via both our current portfolio of brands and new concept developments.”

About Grupo Vidanta
Founded in 1974 by the tourism industry’s leading visionary, Daniel Chávez Morán, Grupo Vidanta is the preeminent developer and resort operator in Mexico and Latin America specializing in vacation destinations, luxury hotel brands, golf courses, real estate, tourism infrastructure and entertainment. The company owns and operates multiple properties in Mexico’s most sought-after beach destinations including Nuevo Vallarta, Riviera Maya, Los Cabos, Acapulco, Puerto Peñasco, Puerto Vallarta, and Mazatlán. Vidanta’s portfolio is also comprised of six distinct resort hotel brands – Grand Luxxe, The Grand Bliss, The Grand Mayan, The Bliss, Mayan Palace, and Sea Garden. From AAA Five Diamond award-winning hotels to an internationally recognized collection of golf courses throughout Mexico, Grupo Vidanta continually pioneers innovative partnerships, including collaborations with Cirque du Soleil to create JOYÀ (a first-of-its kind experience in Riviera Maya); Nicklaus Designs to develop three renowned Jack Nicklaus golf courses; and Greg Norman Golf Course Design to debut the newest pro course in the collection at Nuevo Vallarta. In addition to being the largest golf course developer in Mexico, Grupo Vidanta has also developedMexico’s first privately built and owned airport in Puerto Peñsaco.

Frequently named among the “Best Companies to Work for in Mexico,” Vidanta maintains a strong commitment to its 15,000 employees, and surrounding communities, through its progressive mission dedicated to environmental and philanthropic efforts, including its long-established non-profit foundations, Fundación Vidanta and Fundación Delia Morán. For more information, visit

About Hakkasan Group
Hakkasan Group is a worldwide hospitality company with establishments located across the United States, Europe, Middle East, and Asia. Its name is taken from its Michelin star restaurant that set the high-level standard for the group’s collection of diverse brands. Its ‘brand first’ philosophy builds restaurant, nightlife, and daylife into world-class lifestyle brands, all with a focus on service, design, innovation, and experience. For more information, visit is a comprehensive online source of first-hand travel information for the Baja California Peninsula. We offer Baja travelers expert advice about local restaurantshotelsvacation rentals and activities, as well as guides, maps, complete event calendars and great stories about incredible travel destinations, from Tijuana to Cabo San Lucas.  We also provide free personal travel consulting, planning and booking services in Los Cabos, Todos Santos and La Paz, with prices that match or are below best advertised price. For more information, please call toll-free (US/CAN) 855-BAJA-411 or email us at

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San Jose del Cabo

By Yesica Pineda

Sunshine never felt so close to the skin, and the blue green desert colors never reflected so much light into the mood of a morning than that day I landed in San Jose del Cabo, Baja California Sur, Mexico.

Being born and raised Mexican, a familiarity with the relaxing feeling of home blew a breath out of me, in full blossom inspiration. The weather was perfect. The energy was quite exciting as people on vacation wore their sandals, hats and drinks into the street.

I was amazed by the friendly welcome the natives had prepared so I would maybe choose right there at the airport their company for the rest of my trip; in my case, I had a great quality to add…I was there to see my brother, Gerardo Pineda. My brother was one of them, therefore, their smiles were even closer to the heart and an open imaginary red carpet was laid on the floor since the very beginning. Thanks bro.

After the ritual timing of long-awaited encountering, me meeting the Pineda newborn and my rock star sister-in-law Cristina Estrada, I started to look around and connect with the town vibe.

Imagine, I had been gone for 10 years from my precious Mexico after being selected, from millions of talented people in the country, as one of the 12 “Valores Juveniles” (think “American Idol” in Mexican version). My professional journey in music took me to Los Angeles, California, where I spent those 10 years deep down cultured into the Mecca of the production of dreams all related to entertainment, music, arts, movies, theater, technology, popularity and the fantasy bubble-making that only LA people can relate to….the exhausting pursuit of fame. This path of non-stop self-image reflection eventually made me spirituality hungry so after I finished my “Grammy winner team” Music Album Yeye Organic Pop I took a retreat from it all. I engaged in my yoga and meditation studies, which brought me back to my inner-self and the recognition that in order to know where to go next, I had to come back to the beginning. Back to the basics, always remember who you are and where you come from…family.

So once in San Jose del Cabo, it was easy for me to recognize the simplicity of family values and the everyday joy of waking up by the ocean, eating home made food and living a life of social connection where the only purpose is rest and fun. As I started to find out, everybody there, and I mean everybody, is either relaxing and having fun, or making others relax and have fun. What a paradise!

On a morning walk by the beach, as I looked at the horizon and felt the desert heat, with my bare feet in the water and my breath so present, I told my brother: I want to live here. He said: Excellent! Why don’t you? That is how my next 4 years in Cabo started.  After a month exploring the town and its creative possibilities, I flew back to Topanga, packed my car with personal home made dreams, said goodbye to my beloved California friends, closed my cycle there and drove my car down La Baja, where a new cycle of life in yoga, writing and music awaited! I had fallen in love.

If you like driving the land…La Baja is a must. The South West cost of the USA is a gem, the little romantic looking towns and the surfing beaches are very nice. You do have to cross the border and experience border people, which as intense as it can get, but it will only enrich your awareness about how fortunate you are because you get to move on from the stagnation that only a world of limits can create.

If you are driving down through La Baja remember this: at some point the ocean will surprise you facing you in grandiose display of magnanimous power, in contrast with the Desert colors of the Earth. Your heart will pump in so much awe, that moment will bring you into divine consciousness. It is powerful. From then on you will keep driving, and you will have more than enough time to gather your inner-self for what is awaiting you at the end of your drive, San Jose del Cabo… La Baja Peninsula’s Land’s end.

In contrast with Cabo San Lucas, the wild-party town, San Jose del Cabo is a cute family town, with its old missionary church (you know San means Saint), with its downtown cozy feeling, with its diversity of food, restaurants, bars, souvenir shops, home-made bakeries, family owned “tienditas”, art galleries Mega Resort hotels, boutique style hotels, simple free-style Palapas, native family own home-style hotels, spas, gyms, parks, farmer markets, healing centers, realtors, the marina, extreme sports, horse riding, its local brewery, the ocean…and yes! Its own eclectic party scene!

San Jose del Cabo is defined by its people: rich people, people specialized in service, fishing people, water sports people, young people, surfers, realtors, lawyers, salesmen, tourists, politicians, artists, famous people, cooks, dancers, yogis, healers, natives, foreigners, Mexicans; fathers, mothers, daughters and sons, children and pets. Everyone there ruled by the ocean tide and the moon cycles. The Sun shines all year long.

This is my story, but the stories people have to tell about this beautiful place on Earth are unending… all of which are united by a common factor…the magnetic force of the land. Follow our blog and enjoy these stories on It is my good intention to bring you closer to the fun by presenting you with the coolest happenings and the people who make it all true. After all, they are the heart of San Jose del Cabo, and when you finally make it here, you can play it to the beat!




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